Storytellers around the globe, including those in the Rim Country, are gearing up for the 2016 Tellabration, which brings the area’s most celebrated tellers of tales out to delight, captivate and mesmerize audiences with their stories.
In Pine and Strawberry the Senior Citizens Affairs Council (SCAF) has sponsored the Tellabration for 17 years. The next evening of telling tales is Saturday, Nov. 19 at the cultural hall of the community center.
Although SCAF has not released an official agenda, the evening traditionally begins at 5 p.m. with a meet and greet with the storytellers, then dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. and the show is at 7 p.m. Doors usually open at 6:30 p.m.
Storytelling is suitable for ages 10 years and older.
Dee Strickland Johnson, also known as Buckshot Dot, is one of the more recognized storytellers to have participated in past Pine-Strawberry Tellabrations.
Calling herself “Younger than springtime but older than dirt,” she was born in Flagstaff, but grew up on the Navajo Reservation and at one time was a Payson High School teacher.
In addition to participating in the Tellabrations, she sometimes sits in on the Pine-Strawberry fiddlers jams.
She has been and Academy of Western Artists Female Cowboy Poet of the Year and her book “Arizona Women; Weird, Wild and Wonderful” was once named Western Music Association’s Cowboy Poetry Book of the Year.
Others who have been big hits at the Tellabration include Don Doyle, Liz Warren and Doug Bland, who is a pastor in Tempe.
No word as yet if any of those will be returning for 2016 event.
The P/S Tellabrations are part of a worldwide benefit evening of storytelling designed to create a network of enthusiasts bonded together in spirit at the same time and on the same weekend.
Tellabration originator J.G. Pinkerton envisioned this international event as a means of building community support for storytelling. In 1988 the event was launched by the Connecticut Storytelling Center and has expanded across the nation, including to Pine and Strawberry.
All proceeds from the Tellabration benefit the Pine Strawberry School and the community.